Boris Johnson says Bob Diamond is a Mayor's best friend
Dominic Walsh: City Diary
Boris Johnson, the bouffant-haired Tory candidate for Mayor of London, has
revealed the inspiration behind his decision to appoint Bob Diamond as an
If Johnson is elected, the Barclays' investment boss will help him to set up
and run his proposed Mayor's Fund, a charity designed to raise money from
the City for children in underprivileged areas.
Speaking on the radio channel LBC 97, Johnson said he was delighted that
Diamond had agreed to take on the role as he was “an extremely wealthy man,
and I know how much money they make at Barclays because they rip me off with
their charges the whole time”.
With scarcely a pause for breath, he added: “This is a guy who has a bonus of
£36 million. I'm very pleased he's going to set up the Mayor's Fund because
I think people who do know about making money, who do know where the money
is in this City, should be helping us channel it to the people who deserve
Seasons in Style, the upmarket tour operator, is hoping to cash in on the euro
holiday crisis by highlighting the attractions of some of its dollar-based
Indeed, it believes that the strength of sterling against the dollar makes
Sandy Lane such an attractive proposition that “you would be mad not to jump
on the first plane to Barbados”.
Quite so. It is selling its “Romance in Paradise” package from £2,215 per
person for seven nights, including flights.
Sandy Lane is not to be confused, of course, with the Sandy Balls holiday park
on the edge of the New Forest.
Sandy Balls? Look it up.
Blood on the carpet at Hilwood Resorts and Hotels, the luxury hotel operator
that owns Bovey Castle, the hotel and golf course on the edge of Dartmoor
previously owned by Peter de Savary, the entrepreneur.
Hilwood, which also owns the Grand in St Helier, Jersey, was set up two years
ago as a joint venture between Jamie Ritblat's Delancey property vehicle and
the two hotel industry veterans Gregor Ritchie and Arvinder Walia.
However, I hear that Walia has abruptly checked out, leaving Ritchie and
Robert Breare, the Hilwood chairman, to run the show. The reason for the
split is unclear.
It is 17 years since Kentucky Fried Chicken changed its name to KFC, but now,
as part of an “overall brand transformation”, some franchisees in America
are to be given the opportunity to trade under a fresh name.
The new nomenclature? Kentucky Fried & Grilled Chicken.
Tragus, the restaurant company, has kindly invited me to the launch of its
100th Café Rouge, just around the corner from The Times, in St Katharine
The launch coincides with National Escargot Day - my favourite Rouge dish.
The news that Harworth colliery, near Doncaster, could reopen will be music to
the ears of students of the mining industry.
Such were the particular qualities of the coal it produced that Harworth used
to supply Buckingham Palace.
I am also informed that the Flying Scotsman was running on Harworth coal when
it broke the 100mph mark in 1934.